The ROPE Factor – the Church that Jesus Started

Some people have a snobbish pride about the church or denomination they belong to. One gets the impression that theirs is the only church and if you don’t belong to it then you’re not really saved. Even some Pentecostals give this impression!

Not good!

It’s his church!

In Matthew 18:16, Jesus stated clearly that he would build his church. He didn’t put a particular denominational tag on it, just that it was his church.

Now Jesus probably doesn’t worry about the name of the church we attend, or whatever denomination it is under… as long as it is biblically founded and ‘walking the talk.’

He would be concerned though that such a church is truly Christian and proclaiming that salvation is only gained through accepting God’s way…forgiveness of sin through acknowledging Christ’s finished work on Calvary and accepting Christ as Saviour. Also that such a church was endeavouring to touch and influence its local community, and not be a wimpy bunch of closet Christians.

In truth, the church that Jesus founded was and still is based on the ROPE factor…

  • R…Revelation that he is the Christ, the messiah (Mat. 18:16)
  • O…Obedience to fulfilling his great commission (Mat. 28:19-29)
  • P…Personal commitment to him (Luk.11:23)
  • E…Empowerment through receiving his Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)

The early church, the church that Jesus founded and was birthed on the Day of Pentecost, was such a church. In truth it was indeed a Pentecostal church! It grew quickly and in no time was accused of ‘turning the world upside down’ (Acts 17:6KJV). In fact, history shows that within two years the early on-fire Christians had spread the gospel to every part of the then known world! And all without TV, DVDs, CDs and the Internet!

Names of the early church

But that doesn’t mean we have to call ourselves Pentecostals as if to prove something! The early church was known variously and simply as…

  • ‘The believers’ (Acts 2:44)
  • ‘The church’ (Acts 2:47NKJV)
  • ‘The disciples’ (Acts 6;1-2; 9:19:19, 26, 38; 13:52 NIV)
  • ‘The Lord’s disciples’ (Acts 9:1 NIV)
  • ‘The Way’ (Acts 9: 2; 19:9, 23; 22:4, 24:14, 22).
  • ‘Those who call on his name’ (Acts 9:21)
  • ‘The saints’ (Acts 9:13; 26:10)
  • ‘The Christians’ (Acts 11:26)
  • ‘The church of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13)
  • ‘The followers’ (Acts 24:4)
  • ‘The churches of God’ (1 Cor. 11: 6; Gal. 1:13; 1 The. 2:14)
  • ‘The churches of God…in…’ (eg Judea) (1 The. 2:14).
  • ‘A peculiar people’ (Tit. 2: 14; 1 Pet.2:9)
  • ‘The people of the Way.’

Now the titles or designations may differ depending on which translation you read. But the key is that whatever name they went under they were Bible-believing, Spirit-receiving, Christ confessing and salvation professing!

Have we really influenced our city and local regions as they did? Yet?

When Jesus called his followers – disciples – ‘his church’ he used the word ekklesia, meaning ‘a calling out’ and referring to ‘a popular meeting.’

Those who accepted Christ as Saviour and Lord were indeed ‘called out ones’…called out of a crippling religious system and the devil’s system of worldliness and the flesh. Christians are called out to follow Jesus and to walk the talk by living as he would, and their character and actions be as his (the fruit of the Spirit).

A peculiar people indeed

Even brief studies of Acts 2(NIV) reveals that those early Christians – the original church – the Holy Spirit-empowered church – his church – were indeed ‘peculiar people’! Christianity is indeed the upside-down lifestyle (eg different to fleshly thinking)! We too should be as they were. Acts 2 clearly describes those early Christians as …

  • All-together people (Acts 2:1)
  • Spirit-filled people (2-4)
  • God-worshipping people (11)
  • Perplexing people (12)
  • Knocked (criticised) people (13)
  • Bible-believing and Bible–proclaiming people (14ff)
  • Evangelistic people (14-41)
  • Devoted Bible and truth–seeking people (42)
  • Committed to Christ’s family people (42)
  • Don’t-miss-communion people (42)
  • Dedicated -to-prayer people (42)
  • In-awe-of (the Spirit) and miracle-expecting people (43)
  • True believers people (44)
  • Unselfish caring and sharing people (44-55)
  • Connecting – home fellowships or cell groups – people (46)
  • Happy, right heart attitude people (46)
  • Praising people (47)
  • Community favoured people (47)
  • Increasing people (47).

They were on fire for Jesus, filled and led by his Spirit, reaching their families, friends, neighbours, and community and, within a short time, the world. What an example!

So…the challenge: Do you …does your church fully fit this role?

Maybe yes, in which case PTL! If not quite yet, are the foundations there? Hopefully yes.

But … make it a ‘we’ matter…as we and our church continue to allow the Spirit to work within us and in our services, as we take advantage of the various programs, meetings and gatherings put on, as we fellowship with one another, as we give generously to needs and church expenses, as we honour the Lord Jesus and pray/witness for/to the unchurched/unsaved, as we expect much from the Holy Spirit, we will definitely be heading in the right direction.

Rope is a word suggesting strength and security. History shows that The ROPE Factor produces great kingdom results. Actively hold onto that rope of faith and use its strength to succeed for Jesus and your local church.

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